So erratic, so wobbly, the muse

cattails bursting with fluff in the spring“Creativity takes courage.” According to Henry Matisse, if I remember correctly. No kidding.

Making a commitment to produce art before knowing for certain what the heck I’ll be doing —well, that’s about as bold as it gets for me. Courageous or crazy? A little of both, I suppose.

I am determined, though. Determined to let preconceived notions fall away, so that I can fully immerse in absorbing and responding to the possibilities of this space. So I stroll the trails, sit by the ponds, walk through meadows of grasses and a tangled canopy of plum trees. Admittedly, slowing down is daunting for me. Trying to be in the moment. Whatever that means.

Be patient, I tell myself. Be as tender as I can with itty-bitty bits of ideas that emerge from my daily encounters. Imagine them as twigs being coaxed to kindle a fire. Whatever you do, stop watching the calendar and the clock.

I recall a pastor once preaching an sermon, distinguishing kairos (eternal time, God’s time, timelessness) and chronos, the Greek word for clock time, sequential, finite time. He pressed upon the congregation to honor kairos in our hectic live, in which time’s passing preoccupies us. We are hard-wired for both time zones, he suggested, quoting Ecclesiastes: “He has also set eternity in the human heart” (3:11).

One of the goals of this residency for me is to wander into the rich watery sub terrain of kairos, where souls come to life unencumbered by ticking clocks.